Investors lower Chinese portal 51job’s go-private offer to $3.8b

Beijing, China. Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

A consortium of investors looking to take China-based jobs portal 51job Inc private has slashed its offer in a revised deal that values the company at about $3.86 billion.

The consortium, which includes DCP Capital Partners, Ocean Link Partners and 51job’s co-founder and chief Rick Yan, had made an offer in May last year to pay shareholders of the company $79.05 per share in an all-cash deal, which would have valued it at about $5.7 billion.

However, 51job said on Wednesday it had received a proposal to lower the price to $57.25 per share and reduce the combined ownership of the investors after the completion of the deal.

“The Special Committee will evaluate the Proposed Revised Transaction in light of the latest development with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors,” 51job said in a statement.

The new offer still represents a premium of 24.9% to the stock’s last close.

U.S.-listed shares of the company rose 11.3% to $51 premarket, after having lost about 30% of their value in 2021.

Shares had also fallen to a four-year low in November when the company said its buyers had been consulting Chinese regulators on recent changes that may apply to the firm and the proposed transaction.

“The consultation process… is currently ongoing and a clear timeline to its completion cannot be provided at this time.”

Founded in 1998, 51job provides human resources services, including initial recruitment to employee retention and other career-related assistance, in China.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.